The alpha-thalassemia syndromes are a group of inherited anemias, the clinical severity of which has been shown to increase with the number of alpha-globin structural genes deleted. Employing restriction endonuclease gene mapping, we defined the organization of the alpha-globin genes in cellular DNA from Chinese subjects with various alpha-thalassemia syndromes. The four alpha-globin genes of normals are at two loci located on a 23.0-kilobase pair (kb) Eco RI fragment. In deletion type hemoglobin-H disease the 5' alpha-globin locus is deleted and the single 3' alpha-globin locus is found on a 19.0-kb Eco RI fragment. In alpha-thalassemia-2 there are two alpha-globin genes on a 23.0-kb Eco RI fragment and one on a 19.0-kb fragment. In alpha-thalassemia-1 and the nondeletion type of hemoglobin-H disease the two alpha-globin genes are at two loci on one chromosome and none reside on the other chromosome.


S H Embury, R V Lebo, A M Dozy, Y W Kan


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